Our Family

Our Family

Friday, December 19, 2014

Colored Salt Dough Ornaments

My 3 year old likes me to snuggle with her at night until she falls asleep.  Often I will read on my iPad, or scroll through Pinterest looking for crafts, recipes, sewing ideas,art projects, 4 H ideas, or educational things for our homeschool.  The other night I came across this pin.  We have made salt dough ornaments one other time, but we painted them.  I would have never though of coloring them!

What We Did

First we made the salt dough using this recipe.

4 cups of flour
1 cup of salt
1 1/2 cups cold water

Mix the flour and salt and add in the water.  I did one cup first and then added in the other half cup slowly.  You may need to add a bit more water if the dough doesn't come together well.

Then, we divided the dough and gave a chunk to each of the children.  They rolled out the dough and used a variety of Christmas cookie cutters to cut out different shapes.

Next I put a hole in the top of each ornament using a plastic straw.

After that we baked them in a 275 degree oven for 2 hours.  You want to bake them until they are hard but not brown.

I put a paper towel in front of each child and put a bin of crayons on the table.  I handed out the ornaments one at a time and left the others to stay warm on the stone.  The children chose their crayons and colored on the ornaments.  The ornaments were warm enough to melt the crayons but not too warm that they couldn't touch them.

Nana helped too.

If the ornaments got too cool, the colors did not work as well.  You can leave them in the oven on warm and only take out a few at a time to keep them warm.  Just watch the bottoms!

They turned out really good!

After they were all colored, we strung them with green yarn and hung them on the tree.  This craft was a big hit and I love how they look.  I hope they last a long, long, time.

Happy Homeschooling!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review: Word Up! The Vocab Show

*this post contains affiliate links

Word Up! The Vocab Show from Compass Classroom

I have shared on this blog many times how much we love Visual Latin.  Dwane Thomas makes Latin fun and interesting using short visual lessons and a fun sense of humor.  When I found out that he was working on a new series called Word Up! The Vocab show, I jumped at the chance to review it.

This is a brand new series.  Multiple sets are planned, but at this time Vol I is the only one that is available for purchase.  Each volume will contain 10 video segments lasting around 15 minutes long and will explore 20 Latin and Greek roots and 200+ English words.

Volume I covers the following words:

Lesson 1: Water-Aqua and Hydra
Lesson 2: Write-Scribo and Grapho
Lesson 3: Earth-Terra and Geo
Lesson 4: Many-Multus and Poly
Lesson 5: Place-Ponere and Thesis
Lesson 6: Time-Tempus and Chronos
Lesson 7: Good-Bonus and Eu
Lesson 8: See-Video and Skopeo
Lesson 9: Throw-Iacere and Ballein
Lesson 10: City-Urbs and Polis

You can purchase Word Up! as either a download or a physical DVD.  Both options have pros and cons.  Downloads you can take with you anywhere and watch on different mobile devices.  I reviewed the DVD because I live in the country and have super slow internet.  Both options cost the same, $15, but the physical DVD will have a shipping charge while the download does not. Downloads you receive instantly. DVDs you have to wait for it to be delivered.

Take advantage of the 2 free lessons!

Watch a short video of Word Up!

Word Up! The Vocab Show - Official Trailer from Compass Cinema on Vimeo.

To go along with the videos, you will also have access to Quizlet flashcards, quizzes, and games to reinforce and test comprehension.  Here is a sample of the Quizlet features for lesson one.

What Did We Think?

I will just come right out and say it.  We LOVED it! I watched Word Up! with my 12, 11, and 9 year old boys with my 7 and 5 year olds popping in on occasion. My 9 year old liked it so much he wanted to watch it everyday.  And he requested Vol II as a Christmas gift from his big sister (I did tell him he would have to wait on that.)

I really have never seen anything like Word Up! to teach vocabulary.  By learning the Latin and Greek roots found in the English words, students will be able to figure out the meaning of many words that they never knew before.  What makes it different from other methods?  Many other products I have seen simply have you memorizing lists of words.  Word Up! is nothing like that.  It is FUN to watch.   Dwane, Dwane, and Dwane (the Latin guy, Greek guy, and newsroom guy) all interact very nicely with each other.  The backgrounds are fun and interesting.  The words are shown on the screen as well as explained, and Dwane's sense of humor adds a little something special to the lessons.  There were a few more serious words that were taught in this DVD and I thought those were explained and taught very well along with the lighter ones.  Lessons are short (around 15 min) which is a perfect amount of time to learn the words being taught without dragging it out too long.  You do not have to worry about your children being bored watching this.  But, it is not just entertainment.  They will be learning as well.

No advanced prep is required for parents.  Children can handle it completely on their own because all they have to do is pop in the DVD or click on the download.   Although parents,  you may want to watch.  I enjoyed it and learned a lot myself :) The Quizlet feature is already set up for your students to be able to review and take quizzes, but you can make changes and customize those if you choose to after registering for a free account.  My boys were thrilled not to have worksheets they had to complete.

Word Up! is fun, affordable, easy on the parent, educational, and easy to learn.  What more can you ask for? We will be waiting for Vol II and until then I am sure we will be watching Vol I a few more times.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Word Up! for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC regulations. 

*links in this post are my affiliate links.  I only form affiliate relationships with companies whose products I actually use and can recommend!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 16

This week was a much better week.  Everyone is mostly over the illnesses that have plagued them the last couple of weeks, although they still have a lingering cough.  We had a great last week before Christmas vacation!

Week 16 in our Homeschool

Bible: We finished up the biography we were reading about Jesus.

History: In Mystery of History Vol III we finished lessons 37-39 on Bloody Mary, Elizabeth I , and John Knox and the Scottish Reformation.  We also completed the memory cards and timeline figures.

Science: We finished reading Chapter 9 of Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics and did the vocabulary and copywork assignments from the notebooking journal.

Grammar/Writing/Literature- Since it was a short week for us because we had a Grandview co-op day, I decided to not do literature with Anthony and Christian.  Nick and Alex did not do grammar this week, but did get the last part of the key word outline completed on Lesson 11 of IEW Medieval History Writing.

Spelling/Reading- Anthony and Christian worked on the fluency pages of lesson 2 of All About Reading.  Alex finished Lesson 22 of All About Spelling.

Language- We finished Word Up! The Vocab Show.

Math-  Nick and Alex finished Lesson 16 of their Math U See books and Christian and Anthony finished Lesson 15 of their Math U See books.

My Father's World Creation From A to Z

This week we completed the Dinosaur unit.  Since we have done so much with dinosaurs and fossils in the last year, I made a few changes to the activities.  She did all of the worksheets, but we didn't make a stuffed dinosaur or dig up bones.  We did do some dinosaur drawings and I made a little sensory bin with water beads and plastic dinosaurs that I found for $1 at Target.

Other Activities this Week:

Monday we made gingerbread men.  And the children decorated outside.

Tuesday Lily was VERY happy to be back at gymnastics!

Wednesday we had our Gandview Co-op.

Thursday Christian, Anthony, Lily and I made some homemade snow globes.  These did not turn out as well as I'd hoped, but the children really liked them.  We also put out our Christmas village.

Friday we had to run errands and do grocery shopping.

Saturday my mom and dad arrived and will be here all week!

I hope you had a great week in your homeschool!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

December Grandview Program and Art Co-op

This month at Grandview, we did something a little different.  Usually we do an educational program about a specific topic (mammals, birds, fish, fossils, etc..) and then do a hands on activity related to that topic.  For the holidays though we thought it would be fun to do something different.  We did a program on crafts that could be made with things found in nature.

There were several different things available for the children to create their Nature Crafts such as pine cones, acorns, tree cookies, pine branches, sticks and twigs plus craft items like jingle bells, pom poms, paint, pipe cleaners, etc.. to turn them into an ornament.  There was even scented wax they could dip some creations into, and my boys figured out they could make their stuff smell like pine by slipping some pieces of the branch underneath their trees. There were several different ornaments displayed as examples of the types of things they could do, but they were encouraged to use their imagination and create whatever they wanted to create.  Some of the children made several different things, and some just worked on one project the entire time (Anthony worked on one the whole time.) They were very creative and came up with some very good projects.

After our lunch break we moved on to art.  Our artist of the month was Alexander Calder.  The project was to make a mobile using pipe cleaners and foam shapes.  We did a Christmas theme and the children made six different shapes that reminded them of Christmas such as snowflakes, dove, present, candy cane, star, stocking, tree, etc..  We used tape to secure the shapes, or just poked the pipe cleaners through the foam.  This was a fun project and turned out really cool.  The hardest part for the children was connecting the 6 pipe cleaners together, but once that was figured out it was pretty easy.

Happy Homeschooling

Monday, December 8, 2014

Review: Love Without End


"Chet and Kimberly have both failed when it comes to love. Will they risk their hearts to love again? Chet Leonard's life was forever changed when his seventeen year old son died and then, soon after, his wife walked out on their family. Over two years later, all he wants to do is hold onto his horse ranch and raise his remaining sons to be honorable men. Kimberly Welch, widowed mother of Tara, a rebellious fifteen-year-old, has reached the end of her finances and nearly the end of her rope. She and Tara come to King's Meadow to try to piece their lives back together again. Kimberly has no intention of become involved with the residents of this remote mountain community and certainly not with any man. When 84-year-old Anna McKenna returns to King's Meadow and to the Leonard ranch, she becomes an agent of change and healing for the two hurting families. With her help, Kimberly and Chet's families at last discover a love without end."

Robin Lee Hatcher is one of those authors that I jump on the opportunity to review books for.  I saw her newest book, Love Without End, and grabbed it while I had the chance.  I did not know that there was a book that took place in King's Meadow called A Promise Kept, that was written in 2014.  I have not read that book, but I really enjoyed Love Without End.  In this book Robin Lee Hatcher is telling the story of two different sets of people.  In the present we have the story of Chet and Kimberly, their families, and their attempts to recreate their lives when the unexpected comes their ways leading them in different directions then they had planned.  Along the way they both go through many changes and have to learn trust God and take the chance to love again.  We also have the story of Anna McKenna.  Her story of how she came to King's Meadow and her life there is shown through flashes of the past.  Through her life, lessons learned, and experiences, she is able to help bring hope and peace to not just Chet and Kimberly, but their children as well.  The transitions from the past to the present flowed very smoothly and help to create a wonderful story of Love Without End.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC regulations.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 15

When of the things I love most about homeschooling is flexibility.  I know I have said that before ;) 
This week did NOT go as planned, but I am glad that we can take off when the children do not feel well or doctor's appointments come up and we can make it up some other day.  We did not get very much accomplished this week school wise.  Lillian was still not feeling well and did not get back to herself until Wednesday (she did insist on doing some school work and I will talk about that in a minute.)  Monday after our morning work, Christian went up to play LEGO while I made lunch.  I went up to see what kind of sandwich he wanted and he wasn't playing he was laying in his bed.  He was running a fever.  He did no schoolwork at all until Wednesday afternoon.  Because he wasn't feeling well enough to do afternoon school work, that meant Anthony got out of reading/spelling too. Then Tuesday Emmie started not feeling very well and snuggling with her took precedence over afternoon schoolwork Tuesday and Wednesday.  Thursday Alex had to go back to the doctor to get his finger checked so I made an appointment for Emmie too.  She ended up on medicine for a sinus infection and we had to go get Alex's finger X-rayed again.  It took forever at the hospital for the x-ray and then there was a mix up with Emmie's medicine.  I had left the house at 8:45 and did not get back home until 1:15.  By the time we ate lunch I declared it a school free day since there were chores to be completed and I had a 4 H meeting to get ready for that night.

We did get a little work completed though.

Week 15 in Our Homeschool

Bible: We finished reading our biography on Mary and have moved on to reading a biography on Jesus.

History: In Mystery of History Vol III we finished lessons 34-36 on William Tyndale, Nicolaus Copernicus, and Bartolome de Las Casas.  We completed the memory cards and timeline figures as well.  There is a LOT of heavy reading during this time in history, although honestly it occurs all through history. I am glad the lessons include some lighter things like the lesson on Nicolaus Copernicus.

Science: We started reading Chapter 9 of Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics on the Speed of Sound.

Not part of our science curriculum, but Chelsea sent us a picture of the panda bears at the Atlanta Zoo when she went there on Monday and the children wanted to see more.  So we have been watching them on the Panda Cam on the website.  They have twin pandas there right now. They have been fascinated with it!  Then Chelsea brought the girls home stuffed pandas, it made their day!

Grammar/Writing/Literature-Nick and Alex completed Lesson 14 of Fix It! Grammar and started Lesson 11 of IEW Medieval History Writing Lessons.  Christian and Anthony did not do Lightning Lit this week.

Spelling/Reading-Never got to it

Language: We finished Lesson 9 of Word Up!  Anthony wants to know when the next DVD is coming out because this is one of his favorite parts of the school day!

My Father's World Exploring Creation From A to Z

This week we started D for dinosaur.  Lily was still not feeling well, but she really wanted to do some school work so we did some but kept it on the light side.  A few years ago I did a dinosaur study with Nick and Alex using a free lapbook from Homeschool Share.  I printed out a copy to use parts of it with this unit.  So far in this unit Lily has made her picture cards for the letter d, completed a handwriting page and sound discrimination page, made a dinosaur badge, and colored pictures of dinosaurs.  We also read What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs by Ken Ham and watched some creation based dinosaur music videos by Buddy Davis on Youtube.  I also read through another dinosaur book that we have leaving out the evolutionary parts. We made some homemade Play-dough to make dinosaurs out of, but the girls made lots of other things instead :)  We will finish up the dino unit next week.

Other Activities This Week

We had our 4 H Christmas Party on Thursday.

Friday we had our homeschool group pizza party.  Our little group is growing.  I counted 58 at the party and there may have been more that I missed since people were moving around.

Saturday we put up and decorated our tree.

We also made some ornaments by melting peppermints I saw on Pinterest.

I hope you had a great week in your homeschool!